“There Have Been Some Traumas”: Serena Williams’ Coach on Her Struggles to Win 24th Grand Slam

Published 09/01/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 4, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. during her third round match against Danielle Rose Collins of the U.S. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier


When it comes to records, the great Serena Williams has been no stranger to them over the years. In the course of her career, she’s broken a variety of them in multiple areas. Yet, there is one achievement that continues to evade Serena. For over four years now, the American has been looking to grab another Grand Slam title, and a historic one at that. But it has not been possible.

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Serena Williams is chasing the elusive 24th Grand Slam title

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The last time Serena won a major trophy was way back in 2017, at the Australian Open. In that final, she defeated sister Venus to claim a record-equaling 23rd Grand Slam title. Ever since then, the 39-year-old has been battling numerous hurdles in her quest for the record. Parenthood, injuries, and the rise of next-gen stars has affected Williams’ surge. In a recent interview with EuroSport, Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou opened up about the added pressure of chasing history.

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“If I knew the secret, I would make it a lot easier for Serena,” said the experienced coach. “But playing for a 24th title like Serena has been a new pressure altogether, it is one match for history. Sometimes, it is one set for history. This is the highest pressure possible. Even though these guys are the best in the world to deal with pressure, sometimes it is too much, sometimes it catches you, sometimes you get nervous or angry because the emotion is too difficult to control.”

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY – AUGUST 13: Serena Williams serves during her match against Venus Williams during Top Seed Open – Day 4 at the Top Seed Tennis Club on August 13, 2020 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Mouratoglou feels Serena crumbles in the big moments

In 2021, the 23-time Slam winner has been slightly underwhelming. After a loss to Naomi Osaka in Melbourne, Williams suffered timid losses at the French Open and Wimbledon. After the grass-court season, Serena also took a break from the tour owing to a leg injury. It has thus been a tough period for a player who has been so used to winning the big titles over the years. She now looks ahead to 2022 for a successful return.

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Coach Patrick Mouratoglou also spoke about the struggles that Serena faces internally. “When it comes to Serena, I think there have been some traumas in the last years – maybe she feels like she cannot express herself anymore and I don’t think it’s good for her. I think she is good when she is herself. I don’t feel like she is authorizing herself to be herself in several moments in big finals and I think this hurt her.”

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Refusing to give up, Serena Williams still chases history in her quest for the record 24th Grand Slam. Do you think she can match Margaret Court and engrave her name in the history books? Or will she fall short?

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

225 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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